TROST | TR246 | LP / CD | 2024
Brötzmann collaborated with many artists in his career, regularly adding new compatriots into the fold, and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love became one of his staunchest allies after the percussionist joined the Chicago Tentet. They worked in various contexts, including this inexhaustible, hard-hitting duo. Most of the albums they’ve issued have captured live performances, but in 2015 they made this stunning studio recording. As Nilssen-Love says in the liner notes, “Peter had acquired a contra-alto clarinet and was very enthusiastic about the sound of this instrument. I had also bought several Korean gongs which I hadn’t used yet.” They met up for 1 two-day session in Antwerp that August, and from the outset it feels different from much of their work.  

The music is less frenzied and aggressive than we’re used to, as the musicians shared their exploration of new tools with a more contemplative approach. To be sure, both Brötzmann and Nilssen-Love summon the usual energy here and there, but it’s a genuine revelation to hear them feel out new sounds in real-time, whether it’s the former caressing the rheumy nasality of the contra-alto clarinet, or the latter reveling in the sustained resonance of his new gongs. Still, even if they were trying out new tools, their rapport and level of engagement was just as strong and deep as ever. Colliding schedules prevented them from ever wrapping up the production on the album, but they began planning for it during the pandemic. Sadly, it fell to Nilssen-Love to shepherd the project at home, but it was worth the wait. This duo album represents a major statement from both musicians. But there’s more good news: a second volume of music from the same studio session will be released on vinyl in late 2024, along with a CD of live recordings.

Note: tracklist is different for LP and digital format


Recording:Michael Huon at Zuiderpershuis, Antwerp 25-26th of August 2015
Production:Peter Brötzmann, Paal Nilssen-Love
Mix:Martin Siewert
Mastering:Martin Siewert
Artwork:Woodcut by Peter Brötzmann, design by Lasse Marhaug
Publisher:Cien Fuegos
Photos:Geert Vandepoele, Mark E. Rappaport, Hans Van Der Linden, Enrico Bettinello
A. Found the cabin but no people (05:10)
A. Butterfly mushroom (06:36)
A. Dancing octopus (03:16)
A. Smuddy water (06:50)
B. Move on over (01:19)
B. South of no return (05:08)
B. Five of them survived the dream (06:59)
B. Ant eater hornback lizard (05:10)


© Geert Vandepoele